Epworth Sleepiness Scale

 download a Epworth Sleepiness Scale in PDF format

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a scale intended to measure daytime sleepiness by the use of a very short questionnaire. This can be helpful in diagnosing sleep disorder. It was introduced in 1991 by Dr Murray Johns of Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.


How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired?


This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you haven’t done some of these things recently, try to work out how they would have affected you.

Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

0 = would never doze

1 = slight chance of dozing

2 = moderate chance of dozing

3 = high chance of dozing

It is important that you answer each question as best you can. Situation Chance of Dozing (0-3)


Sitting and reading


Watching TV


Sitting, inactive in a public place (e.g. a theatre or a meeting)


As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break


Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit


Sitting and talking to someone


Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol


In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in the traffic

                                                              Total Score

A score of 10 or more is considered sleepy. A score of 18 or more is very sleepy. If you score 10 or more on this test, you should consider whether you are obtaining adequate sleep, need to improve your sleep hygiene and/or need to see a sleep specialist. These issues should be discussed with your personal physician.

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