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Epworth sleepiness scale

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The Epworth Sleepiness Score (ESS) seeks to determine how likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired.

The score refers to a person's usual way of life in recent times. Even if a person has not done some of these things recently they are advised to try to work out how they would have affected him/her. The following scale is used to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

0 = no chance of dozing

1 = slight chance of dozing

2 = moderate chance of dozing

3 = high chance of dozing



Sitting and reading


Watching TV


Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g a theater 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 traffic


Results and Interpreation

Add the individual scores to calculate the total 'chance of dozing'

  • the ESS score is the sum of the eight item-scores and can vary from 0 to 24.
  • ESS values range from zero (unlikely to fall asleep in any situation) to 24 (high chance of falling sleep in all 8 situations)

The ESS final score of

  • 0 - 10 is considered normal
  • 11-14 is considered as mild day time sleepiness
  • 15-18 is considered as moderate day time sleepiness
  • 19-24 is considered as severe day time sleepiness (1)

Click here for an online calculator for the Epworth Sleepiness Scale


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