Epworth Sleepiness Scale

Self Assessment Test

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. It is important that you answer each question as best you can.

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.

Score each situation with your chance of dozing from 0 (none) to 3 (high chance):

________ 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

How to score the ESS

All ESS item-scores are intended to be integers (0-3). However, some people cannot decide on one number and report half-values. It is recommended that these scores be taken at face value. If, after adding them up, the total ESS score includes a half, it should be rounded up to the next whole number. If one or more item-scores are missing, that ESS is invalid because it is not feasible to interpolate missing item-scores. The ESS score (the sum of 8 item-scores) is the only number required under most circumstances.
Respondents should not be given an ‘interpretation’ of particular ESS scores when they answer the questionnaire because that may influence their responses.

ESS scores of 11-24 represent increasing levels of ‘excessive daytime sleepiness’ (EDS). The percentage of people with EDS varies widely between different groups, from about 10 to 40% or more (Johns and Hocking, 1997; Sanford et al, 2006). Almost all patients suffering from narcolepsy have severe or moderate EDS by these ESS criteria, as expected (Parkes et al, 1998; Johns, 2000; van der Heide et al, 2015).

In general ESS scores can be interpreted as follows:

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

© M. W. Johns 1990 – 1997

For more information about the Epworth Sleepiness Scale or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hodges or Dr. Spillers, contact our office today. We look forward to meeting you!

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