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SUNY Downstate Sleep Disorders Center

Sleep Quiz - The Epworth Sleepiness Scale

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), developed Dr. Murray Johns, is a questionnaire intended to measure daytime sleepiness. This can be helpful in diagnosing sleep disorders.

How likely are you to actually doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, as opposed to just feeling tired? This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you have not 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

Sitting and reading
Watching television
Sitting inactive in a public place — for example, a theater or 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 traffic
Click in the final field to calculate your score:

Interpretation

0 - 9: average score, normal population
10 - 24: sleep specialist advice recommended

A total score of 10 or more suggests that you may need further evaluation by a physician to determine the cause of your excessive daytime sleepiness and whether you have an underlying sleep disorder. It is important to remember than true excessive daytime sleepiness is almost always caused by an underlying medical condition that can be easily diagnosed and effectively treated.

Please have your physician refer you to the Sleep Disorders Center, or call to make an appointment yourself at (718) 252-1117.