Daytime sleepiness is a common phenomenon among especially among night owls. For some of you who aren’t night owls who may be experiencing daytime sleepiness, there could be various factors affecting your sleep quality. For instance, presence of distraction, going to bed late, why even your diet could be a factor. Nevertheless, quality sleep is extremely important.
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (Johns, M.W., 1997) was developed by Dr Murray Johns to assess daytime sleepiness. Initially designed to assess sleep quality among patients in the Epworth Hospital Melbourne, this self-administered questionnaire has been useful for the non-patient sample as well. Take the quiz to assess your sleep quality and fight daytime sleepiness with these 4 surefire recommendations.
Epworth sleepiness scale
How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired? This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you haven’t done some of these things recently try to work out how they would have affected you. 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
Rate the following situations from 0 to 3 based on the indicator above. It is important that you answer each question as best you can.
- Sitting and reading
- Watching TV
- Sitting, inactive in a public place (e.g. a theatre or a meeting)
- As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
- Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit
- Sitting and talking to someone
- Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol
- In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in the traffic
Now, count the total score. Once you have done that, find the general interpretation below:
0-5 Lower Normal Daytime Sleepiness
6-10 Higher Normal Daytime Sleepiness
11-12 Mild Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
13-15 Moderate Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
16-24 Severe Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
For scores less than 15, you still have time to change your sleep habits to avoid daytime sleepiness. But if you have a score of 16 to 24, it is advised that you visit your nearest sleep clinic while practicing the recommendations below.
Practice healthy sleep routine
A healthy sleep routine includes 7-8 hours of quality sleep. However if you are stay up late but wake up early despite getting 8 hours of sleep, it still does not count as quality sleep. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule by sleeping and waking up at the same time every day even on weekends. It will do a great deal of help to your circadian rhythm.
Get rid of distractions before bedtime
Get rid of anything that serves as distraction during bedtime especially your smartphone. Studies reveal that staring and using your smartphones before bedtime induces poor sleep quality due to the light emitted. For some others, distraction could mean your laptop, your favorite book or even your talkative roommate. Off the lights, get comfortable, set an alarm, place your smartphone far from your bed and politely inform your talkative roommate that you would like to go to bed.
Consume a proper nightcap
Avoid alcohol as nightcap. It can be bad for your mood and energy. Avoid caffeinated drinks before bed as well for obvious reasons. There has been mention of chamomile-lavender tea being a good sleep booster due to its anxiety relieving effect hence worth a try. For those of you who are used to drinking a glass of warm milk, try drinking warm milk 90 minutes before bed.
It is a common myth that exercising makes you more lethargic. As a matter of fact, exercise helps preserve energy throughout the day. Try going for a quick jog or hit the gym in the morning, to remain energetic throughout the day. Exercise also helps you sleep better at night.
Johns, M. W. (1970). Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Retrieved from //www.sleepapnea.org/assets/files/pdf/ESS%20PDF%201990-97.pdf
Kiirtaara is a proud 24 year old Malaysian from the small town of Ipoh. She is a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) graduate and is currently a part-time freelance writer with a full time job. She is also a huge mental-health enthusiast and avid animal lover.