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Your Epworth Sleepiness Scale Score and What It Means
November 02, 2012

Tips, news, and resources on sounder sleep, natural health, and financial success.

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Today's Quote

“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.”

Helen Keller, 1880 to 1968, American author and lecturer

Your Epworth Sleepiness Score
and What It Means

Hopefully you've had a chance to read the first email of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale quiz. If not, do that before reading this email. Here's that link.

Now let's see what your score means.

If you scored less than 8, it means you're probably sleeping well at night and have normal alertness during the day.

However, people with some forms of insomnia tend to have low scores anywhere from 0 to 6. This shows they have difficulty dozing off in many situations.

“Normal” adults score on average about 5.

If you scored 8 to 11, you have mild sleepiness. Make sure it doesn't get out of hand. Note that some sleep doctors think any score above 9 is cause for concern and you should see a sleep specialist.

If you scored between 12 and 15, you're sleep deprived. More than likely you get less than 6 hours sleep per night. This is not good.

Greater than 15? You have a serious problem and need to discuss this with your doctor as soon as possible to find out what is wrong.

You are probably a danger to yourself and others when you are driving your car. Sleepy drivers are just as deadly as drunk drivers. If you work with machinery, you run a greater risk of injury.

A large percentage of people with mild, moderate, or severe sleep apnea will score higher than 11 on this test. Scores greater than 16 are often seen in those with moderate to severe sleep apnea.

The majority of people who have sleep apnea go undiagnosed. Sleep apnea is a major cause of sleep deprivation and daytime sleepiness.

People who have the sleep disorder narcolepsy will have scores in the neighborhood of 17 and higher. This is to be expected, considering that extreme daytime sleepiness is a major symptom of narcolepsy.

About 10 to 20% of the population will have scores of 11 or greater.

Please note that the Epworth Sleepiness Scale does not provide a diagnosis of any particular sleep disorder.

The real importance of the test is to show you how sleepy you are and how dangerous it can be, especially while driving.

If you scored above 8, you need to make sleep a major priority in your life. I recommend you read the articles on my website about How to Fall Asleep, parts 1 and 2.

You should also read How to Fall Asleep Fast.

If you scored greater than 12, you should definitely read all my sleep apnea articles, starting with 23 Dangerous or Unhealthy Sleep Apnea Symptoms.

One final thing: Don't try to solve your sleepiness problem with more caffeine in the afternoon. That will just make your problems worse. You solve sleepiness, as W.C. Fields says in yesterday's quote, by getting more sleep!

Okay, that's it for today. I'm off to Atlanta to see my niece's two-month-old baby boy. If only we could all sleep like a baby...

Life is a journey. Keep exploring.


Rich Silver
Sleep & Health Writer
P.O. Box 95
Dahlonega, GA 30533
Sleep Passport

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