Stanford Sleepiness Scale

The Stanford Sleepiness Scale is a great way to quickly assess how alert or sleepy you’re feeling and discover your patterns of alertness throughout the day. By understanding your own patterns of alertness, you can effectively schedule your day’s activities to match your performance.

You can use the Stanford Sleepiness Scale to discover your own pattern of alertness by taking the test and recording your results at different times throughout the day.

Our levels of alertness normally vary throughout the day. Most people have 2 peak times at around 9am and 9pm with a low time at around 3pm, known as a post prandial dip. Of course these times only act as a template. Your own individual peak and low times depends on your own sleep pattern. Your results will most likely vary by the day if you don’t have a well-established sleep rhythm.

An even better utilization of the Stanford Sleepiness Scale is to record your results over a number of days and see if they match or you have a trend. You might even have a pattern of alertness spanning over several days.

The scale comprises of a 1 to 7 rating, as shown below. Pick what best represents how you’re feeling and note the number.

Degree of
Sleepiness
Scale Rating
Feeling active, vital, alert, or wide awake 1
Functioning at high levels, but not at peak; able to concentrate 2
Awake, but relaxed; responsive but not
fully alert
3
Somewhat foggy,
let down
4
Foggy; losing interest in remaining awake;
slowed down
5
Sleepy, woozy, fighting sleep; prefer to lie down 6
No longer fighting sleep, sleep onset soon; having dream-like thoughts 7
Asleep X

What is your
scale rating
throughout
the day?

Obviously, the best score is 1. If you’re at 1 you can work to your best ability.

A consistent result of 4 and below indicates that you could be suffering from a lack of sleep due to various reasons including a sleep disorder and should consult a doctor.

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