Are You Sleepy?

To assist physicians in their recognition of daytime sleepiness, Dr. Murray Johns of Melbourne, Australia designed and validated the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS)1. It asks a patient to rate the chance of dozing during various daytime activities. In contrast to just feeling tired, how likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations?

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 change of dozing


Chance of Dozing
Sitting & Reading
Watching TV
Sitting inactive in a public place (i.e. theater)
As a car passenger for an hour without a break
Lying down to rest in the afternoon
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol
In a car, while stopping for a few minutes in traffic

Total Score:

A score of less than 8 indicates normal sleep function; If you score 8 or higher, schedule an appointment with your family physician to discuss the possibility of a sleep disorder.

  • 8 - 10, mild sleepiness
  • 11 - 15, moderate sleepiness
  • 16 - 20, severe sleepiness
  • 21 - 24, excessive sleepiness

If you have any questions or concerns, call us at 920 433-7451 or email us at [email protected].

1Johns MW. A new method for measuring daytime sleepiness: The Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Sleep 1999; 14(6):540-5.