What is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale?

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) was developed by Dr. Johns while working at the Epworth Hospital in Melbourne in 1988. The ESS was developed to determine the level of daytime sleepiness in patients and is a self-administered questionnaire rating 8 different situations on a scale of 0-3.

The assessment below can tell you if you have anywhere from low to severe daytime sleepiness.

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations?

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.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

0 = would never doze
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance of dozing
3 = high chance of dozing

Situation Chance of Dozing
Sitting and Reading
Watching T.V.
Sitting, inactive, in a public place
As a passenger in a car for 1 hour without a break
Lying down to rest in the afternoon
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after lunch
In a car, while stopped for traffic or a light

Interpreting Your Score

0 – 5 Lower Normal Daytime Sleepiness
6 – 10 Higher Normal Daytime Sleepiness
11 – 12 Mild Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
13 – 15 Moderate Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
16 – 24 Severe Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

This self-administered assessment can be taken before your appointment with your sleep specialist but please note if you take the assessment before your appointment you will want to print out and bring your results with you. You can also take the assessment when you arrive for your appointment when you fill out your initial paperwork.