ESS [Epworth Sleepiness Scale]

The ESS is used to assess the 'daytime sleepiness' of patients. Patients are asked to rate their usual chances of dozing off or falling asleep while engaged in eight different activities.

Created by Dr. Murray Johns. Licensed for use by students, physicians, clinical practice, not-funded academic users. © MW Johns 1990-1997.


How likely are you to nod off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired? This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you haven't done some of these things recently, try to work out how they would have affected you. It is important that you answer each question as best you can.

Would never nod off
Slight chance of nodding off
Moder­ate chance of nodding off
High chance of nodding off
Sitting and reading
Watching TV
Sitting, inactive, in a public place (e.g., in a meeting, theater, or dinner event)
As a passenger in a car for an hour or more without stopping for a break
Lying down to rest when circumstances permit
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after a meal without alcohol
In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic or at a light


Self-report scales are for screening purposes only, and must be interpreted by a qualified health professional in conjunction with clinical assessment. They cannot be used alone for diagnostic or treatment purposes.