Could You Have a Sleep Disorder? Test Yourself With the Epworth Sleepiness Scale
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.