Last updated: May 13, 2008

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale can't give you a diagnosis, but it can quickly determine whether you should be tested further for a serious sleep disorder. Doctors use the scale to gauge how sleepy a person generally is, and to decide whether he or she needs a full evaluation or sleep study—particularly those with potential sleep apnea or narcolepsy.

To test yourself with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, write down the following information.

Step 1: Consider these eight scenarios
  • Sitting and reading
  • Watching TV
  • Sitting inactive in a public place
  • Being a passenger in a motor vehicle for an hour or more
  • Lying down in the afternoon
  • Sitting and talking to someone
  • Sitting quietly after lunch (no alcohol)
  • Stopped for a few minutes in traffic while driving
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Step 2: Rate your chance of dozing off in each scenario, on a scale of zero to three
  • 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
Step 3: Add all eight numbers together
The total of these numbers is your Epworth score.
  • Less than 10 is considered normal.
  • 10 or higher means you probably have a sleep disorder.
  • 15 or higher means you have excessive daytime sleepiness and should see a sleep doctor as soon as possible.