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Evaluating Your Own Snoring/Sleeping Problems

For a home evaluation of your need to seek help with your snoring and/or sleeping problem, you can take what is called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale test.

The Epworth presents various daily-life situations and asks you to rate your chances of falling asleep during one of these events. After scoring yourself on each situation — with 0 meaning there is almost no chance of falling asleep and 3 indicating a high likelihood of dozing off — you add up the points, and — surprise, surprise! — the higher the point total, the more likely you are to need help.

But first, please take the test, and then we’ll give you a guideline to go by to seek further evaluation and treatment.

The Epworth Scale goes like this: 0 means “unlikely to fall asleep,” 1 a “slight risk of falling asleep,” 2 a “moderate risk of falling asleep,” and 3 a “high likelihood of falling asleep.”

Here are the situations, so rate yourself on each one from 0 to 3 (none should go unscored):

  • Sitting and reading
  • Watching television
  • Sitting inactive in a public place
  • As a passenger in a car riding for an hour, no breaks
  • Lying down to rest in the afternoon
  • Sitting and talking with someone
  • Sitting quietly after lunch, without alcohol
  • In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

There are eight situations with 3 being the highest, so there’s a total of 24 points possible. Here’s how to rate yourself when you add up the points:

0-9 = Average daytime sleepiness (probably nothing to really worry about)
10-15 = Excessive daytime sleepiness (time to start getting concerned)
16-24 = Moderate to severe daytime sleepiness (please seek help)

The semantics here are a bit weird in that “excessive” might seem worse than “moderate,” but go by the points: The more points beyond 9 you tally, the more you need to be concerned.

We at The Snoring Center would recommend anyone with a 10 or above to seek professional help, at least from one’s primary physician. And as your score rises to 15 and beyond, it’s probably a good idea to seek out sleep professionals for an evaluation.

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