Used as the world standard for assessing a person’s general daytime sleepiness, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale helps diagnose whether the “sleepiness” a person experiences on a daily basis is normal or abnormal. The ESS has become an important tool in measuring many aspects of an individual’s sleep-wake health.
What exactly does the ESS assess?
The ESS does not estimate how much sleep an individual receives each day, or how much sleep an individual needs per day. Rather, it looks at the individual’s sleep propensity, or the ability to fall asleep in different situations. ESS ratings do generally increase with sleep deprivation, as one’s sleep propensity tends to increase if he or she is lacking sleep.
What does the ESS ask?
The ESS asks the respondent to look at eight different situations that vary in terms of sleep-inducing characteristics, and then rate these situations based on his or her likelihood of dozing off during the activity. These ratings (0-3) are added together to give a total ESS score, which averages the subject’s sleep propensity.
How reliable is the ESS?
In general, total ESS scores are good indicators of an individual’s average sleep propensity (ASP). The results of ESS are different for people with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, which is known to increase drowsiness. Because the ESS does not measure rapid change is sleep propensity, it is a much better indicator of one’s ASP, which can be useful when looking into sleeping disorders and deficiencies.
If you want to better understand your sleep cycle or think that you may have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, come to Comfort Sleep in New Jersey. For information about our sleep studies and treatment options for sleeping disorders, call our helpful team at (732) 455-3030 or visit our website.