The Takeaway

  • The Epworth Sleepiness Scale can be used to assess daytime sleepiness. For other ways to identify problematic sleepiness, see Self-Evaluation.
  • Daytime sleepiness can have many causes, including narcolepsy, which affects up to 1 in 2,000 people.

Dr. Scammell explains the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.

In the following situations, how likely are you to doze off or fall asleep, in contrast to just feeling tired? Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

0 would never doze or sleep
1 slight chance of dozing or sleeping
2 moderate chance of dozing or sleeping
3 high chance of dozing or sleeping

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 as you can.

Situation Chance of dozing or sleeping
0 1 2 3
Sitting and reading
Watching TV
Sitting inactive in a public place
Being a passenger in a car for an hour
Lying down in the afternoon
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after lunch (no alcohol)
Stopping for a few minutes in traffic while driving
Total Epworth Score  


0–10 Normal range in healthy adults
11–14 Mild sleepiness
15–17 Moderate sleepiness
18 or higher Severe sleepiness
Epworth Sleepiness Scale
Download the
Epworth Sleepiness Scale

If you scored 11 or higher, consider seeing a sleep medicine specialist to diagnose and treat the cause of your sleepiness.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale © Copyright M.W. Johns 1990–97

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