Heart rate, or heart pulse, is the speed of the heartbeat measured by the number of poundings of the heart per unit of time — typically beats per minute (bpm). The heart rate can vary according to the body’s physical needs, including the need to absorb oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide. Activities that can provoke change include physical exercise, sleep, anxiety, stress, illness, ingesting, and drugs. The normal resting adult human heart rate ranges from 60–80 bpm. Bradycardia is a slow heart rate, defined as below 60 bpm. Tachycardia is a fast heart rate, defined as above 100 bpm at rest.Tachycardia| Fast Heart Rate When the heart is not beating in a regular pattern, this is referred to as an arrhythmia. These abnormalities of heart rate sometimes indicate disease.