How is the Epworth Sleeping Scale Helpful for You?

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Sleep diseases or disorders are often characterized by people who are suffering from extra daytime sleepiness. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is the important method of measurement in the world of sleep medicine.

The people who feel a trouble in the sleep, it can be sleeping disorder symptom. In sleep clinics, most of the patients will be prescribed a general process. The process is generalized screening questionnaire that ask all the patients about the symptoms of their sleeping disorder.

It can be helpful in diagnosing sleep disorders. The Epworth scale measures daytime sleepiness. The measurement scale is used by very short questionnaire. The questionnaire asks about the patient daily life.

What is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale?

The scale is a kind of instrument that is used for measuring the normal sleep propensity of patients. It evaluates their sleepiness general level and decides whether sleep disorders would be the reasons for their problems.

The scale was first proposed by Dr. Murray Johns of the Epworth hospital in Melbourne, Australia in 1991. When people went to the sleep clinic, they asked some general questions. The questions were about the probability of falling asleep through low activity and eight normal situations.

Patients are rating their likelihood for dozing on the scale 0-3. In the measurement scale is with 0 means “no chance of dozing” and besides with 3 means “high chance of dozing”.

A sleep disorder is ranked about likelihood on a scale of 0-24. It is considered after all questions have been answered. The total point of the scale “chances of dozing” are added to reveal a single number.

  • 0-7: The rank is considered unlikely that patient is abnormally sleepy.
  • 8-9: It indicates that the patient probably has an average sum of daytime sleepiness.
  • 10-15: It indicates that the patient may be extremely sleepy depending on the condition. The patient probably may consider need medical treatment.
  • 16-24: It considered the patient is excessively sleepy. He should need seeking medical attention.

The scale is the standard measurement for symptoms of sleepiness. It is a very fast questionnaire to finish and a generalized balance of a person’s average sleepiness.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale Test

Most of the people have experienced of frequent sleep problems. They do not get the recommended eight hours of sleep per night. In the Epworth sleepiness test, the questionnaire asks some questions about their daily life.

The questionnaire asks “how likely”, “how often” because many people may not discover themselves in those special situations every day. The concept is to get a related indicator of how sleepy someone.

There are many parts that may create a person to be excessively sleepy all the time. The scale does not aim to characterize what those parts may be. It characterizes that excessive sleepiness may be a health anxiety that proof further diagnosis.

It is a measurement tool that doctors and sleep medicine professionals use to visualize whether a patient should schedule a sleep study diagnose. It rules out sleep disorders that may be touching their everyday sleep.

In this situation Epworth sleepiness scale interpretation provide to rate your sleepiness:

  • 0= It tells would never doze
  • 1= It has a slide chance of dozing
  • 2= It considered the moderate chance of dozing
  • 3= It considered a high chance of dozing


  • Chance of sleeping
  • Sitting and reading
  • Watching TV
  • Sitting without work in a public place
  • Lying down in the afternoon
  • Sitting and talking to person
  • Sitting quietly after lunch
  • As a passenger sitting in a motor vehicle for an hour or more
  • In a car, stopped driving for a  few minutes

Total score runs from 0 to 24. In your daily life, if your Epworth sleepiness scale score is 10 or more, you are thought sleepy. In this situation, it should see your primary care doctors or sleep specialist to examine your options.

The Epworth sleepiness test online free calculator is a good screening tool. It helps for detection of sleep apnea using the Epworth scale.

Screening Process of Epworth Sleepiness Scale

The test will help to definite medical treatment for a sleep disorder. The treatment is depending on the score of the test. The test should be examined by a sleep professional or a physician. The result withheld until the test is completed.

The scale measures only a person’s average sleep tendency. It does not show the presence of a sleep disorder, sleep debt, how much a person sleep during the day. It can often be an indicator of a sleep disorder.

When a person goes to a sleep clinic, he will often ask a different of other questions. It will help to find out the likelihood of a sleep disorder and the importance of a sleep study.

Here is a list of some questions that ask during the Epworth sleepiness test screening process:

  • Do you have snore in your sleep?
  • Have you feel stop breathing or gasp in your sleep?
  • Do you feel sleepy during the daytime?
  • Do you have emphysema, asthma or other breathing problems?
  • Have you ever had heart disease or heart problems or had a stroke?
  • Do you take any medicine for high blood pressure or have you high blood pressure?
  • How much are your height and weight?
  • Do you have sleeplessness?
  • Do you have leg restlessness that keeps you awake?
  • Do you have difficulty concentrating or focusing any work in the daytime?
  • Do you feel completeness of your sleep in the night?

These questions are helpful to find out the likelihood of sleep apnea and other sleep disorder. Some of the questions ask for find out health problems or diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and breathing problems. These health problems often are connected with untreated sleep apnea.

Final Thoughts:

The Epworth sleepiness scale is the best scale for you to find out your sleep disorder if you have. Moreover, you feel excessive sleepiness in the daytime is caused by sleep apnea. You should discuss with your physician about your symptoms of sleep apnea. You can also consult with a sleep specialist to a local sleep clinic.

Likelihood of having a sleep disorder is ranked on a scale of 0-24 after all questions have been answered, and the total points of “chances of dozing” are added to produce a single number.

  • 0-7Unlikely that patient is abnormally sleepy
  • 8-9: Patient has an average amount of daytime sleepiness
  • 10-15Patient may be excessively sleepy depending on the situation. Patient may want to consider seeking medical treatment
  • 16-24Patient is excessively sleepy and should consider seeking medical attention.

The reason the ESS has become the standard assessment tool for symptoms of sleepiness is because it is a very quick questionnaire to complete and it gives a generalized level of a person’s average sleepiness.

What does the Epworth Sleepiness Scale tell us?

The questions ask “how likely” one is to doze in key situations rather than “how often” because many people may not find themselves in those particular situations everyday. Rather, the idea is to get a relative indicator of how sleepy someone is comparative to a normal waking day.

There are many factors that may cause a person to be excessively sleepy all the time, and the ESS does not aim to distinguish what those factors may be, but rather distinguishes that excessive sleepiness may be a health concern that warrants further diagnosis.

The ESS is not a diagnostic tool in itself. It is an assessment tool that physicians and sleep medicine professionals use to determine whether a patient should schedule a sleep study to diagnose, or rule out sleep disorders that may be affecting their everyday sleep.

The ESS is used primarily to validate symptoms of sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and idiopathic hypersomnia. All of which list excessive daytime sleepiness as a primary symptom. 

What to do after taking the Epworth Sleepiness Scale assessment

Depending on the score you received from taking the test will help determine if seeking further medical treatment for a sleep disorder is warranted. The test should be administered by a physician or sleep professional and the results should be withheld until the end of the test.

The ESS does not indicate a sleep debt, presence of a sleep disorder, nor how much a person sleeps during the day. It only measures a person’s average sleep propensity (ASP), which can often be an indicator of a sleep disorder.

Sleep clinics will often ask a variety of other questions that will help determine the likelihood of a sleep disorder and the necessity for sleep study.

Here is a list of questions that the Alaska Sleep Clinic asks during its screening process:

  • Do you snore or have been told that you snore?
  • Have you ever been told you stop breathing or gasp in your sleep?
  • Do you feel sleepy during the daytime?
  • Do you have asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems?
  • Do you have high blood pressure or take medicine for that reason?
  • Have you ever had heart problems or heart disease? Have you ever had a stroke or “warning stroke?”
    • If Yes: have you been told that you have congestive heart failure?
  • Do you feel like your sleep is “restful” such that you feel restored in the morning?
  • Do you have difficulty focusing or concentrating in the daytime?
  • Does leg restlessness keep you awake?
  • Do you have insomnia?
  • What is your height & weight?

These types of questions are helpful in assessing the likelihood of sleep apnea and a few other sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome (RLS). Some of these questions target other health concerns such as stroke, heart disease, and breathing problems that often are associated with untreated sleep apnea.

If you feel that your excessive daytime sleepiness is a cause for concern and you would like to discuss the possibility of a sleep study, contact your primary care physician and discuss your symptoms with them. You can also contact a sleep specialist to setup a sleep consultation by reaching out to your local sleep clinic.

If you live in Alaska and would like to schedule a consultation or speak with a sleep specialist about your sleep health click the link below to receive a free 10-minute phone consultation with one of our sleep educators.


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