About Mercy

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

How sleepy are you?

The questions below will help measure your general level of daytime sleepiness. Answers are rated on a reliable scale called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) – the same assessment tool used by sleep experts worldwide.

Each item describes a routine daytime situation. Use the scale below to rate the likelihood that you would doze off or fall asleep (in contrast to just feeling tired) during that activity. If you haven’t done some of these things recently, consider how you think they would affect you.

Please note this scale should not be used to make your own diagnosis. It is intended as a tool to help you identify your own level of daytime sleepiness, which can be a symptom of a sleep disorder.

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 chance of dozing


  • Sitting and reading
  • Watching television
  • Sitting inactive in a public place (movie theater or meeting)
  • Riding as a passenger in the car for an hour without a break
  • Lying down to rest in the afternoon
  • Sitting and talking to someone
  • Driving a car, stopped in traffic
  • Sitting quietly after lunch (when you’ve had no alcohol)

If your total score is 10 or higher, consider discussing these results with your physician or calling Mercy Sleep Center directly to schedule an appointment.

(515) 247-3121
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

Copyright ©2018 Mercy Medical Center. All Rights Reserved