Eli5 how does the heart decide its bpm?


Obviously it pumps faster/slower depending on when different parts of your body need oxygen, all that stuff. What I’m wondering is actual bpm. Is it seen as “over the course of a minute, I need to pump 60 times” or “every second that passes, the body needs one heart full of blood”? Clearly I could word this better, but I simply don’t know how haha

In: 2

Our heart doesn’t care about beats per minute or blood per second. The problem there lies in the words “minute” and “second”. Remember time itself is just something we made up to make lives easier. There are no clocks in our bodies.

Each heartbeat is just a closed loop of signals that pass through different body parts or “stage gates” if you like. There is a stage for pumping blood into the heart and another stage for pumping it out. Once that is done it starts again, no timing necessary.

As for the speed at which this happens, it is all controlled through your brain. Brain will look at all the other messages it receives like how tired, stressed, active etc you are and then figure out how much blood needs to be moved, then dictate how quickly these signals though the heart have to happen.