Contactless methods for measurement of physiological functions are highly sought after in industry and medicine. Electromagnetic based monitoring systems have shown to be a promising contactless technique for measurements of physiological functions and diagnostics. The purpose of this thesis is fourfold, first to review recent research into the use of IR-UWB (impulse radio ultra-wideband) radar technology for contactless measurements of heart rate. Second, clarification of some technicalities related to the use of IR-UWB radar for heart rate measurements. Third to document the signal-processing algorithm used for heart rate measurements, and fourth to perform heart rate measurements and to measure short term (1-2 hours) heart rate variability(HRV). The signal-processing algorithm for heartrate measurements suggested is fundamentally based on the use of the statistical technique; kernel principal component analysis.