Stanford Sleepiness Scale

By using the Stanford Sleepiness Scale, you can learn more about your alertness levels and if you’re interested in improving your energy and productivity throughout the day or getting a better night’s sleep, then the Stanford Sleepiness Scale will help you achieve your goals.


What is the Stanford Sleepiness Scale?

The Stanford Sleepiness Scale is a quick tool to assess how alert you feel. It was developed in 1972 and is commonly used in research and clinical tests to measure alertness. It’s useful because it measures your alertness level at a given moment in time, instead of a general indication for over the course of a day.


sleepezi stanford sleepiness scale

Using the scale

The Stanford Sleepiness Scale is reprinted here:

Degree of Sleepiness

Scale Rating

Feeling active, vital, alert, or wide awake


Functioning at high levels, but not at peak; able to concentrate


Awake, but relaxed; responsive but not fully alert


Somewhat foggy, let down


Foggy; losing interest in remaining awake; slowed down


Sleepy, woozy, fighting sleep; prefer to lie down


No longer fighting sleep, sleep onset soon; having dream-like thoughts




To use, you simply compare the scale to your current state of alertness/sleepiness. You can record your results at different times of the day and find out when you’re most alert. You can even record results across several days to see how they sync up.

Most people discover they have two peak times during the day where their alertness is at 1 on the scale. One will be around 9AM, the other around 9PM. There’s also commonly a dip at mid-afternoon.

However, you may discover that your alertness levels sit outside this typical pattern. That’s perfectly normal. Some people even have an alertness pattern that stretches across two days instead of just one.


sleepezi stanford sleepiness scale


What to do next

Now that you understand your alertness levels, what can you do with that information?

A great way to use this new knowledge is to utilize your natural highs to improve your productivity. Schedule tasks that need energy into those slots, and task you can do on autopilot into your lower-alertness times.

It’s also interesting to look at your current bedtime in relation to that 9PM high (or whatever time your nighttime high occurs). If you’re trying to go to sleep at that time, it could explain why you’re struggling. Consider schedule changes that might make better use of your energy levels.

Give the scale a go and discover how tracking alertness can help improve your life. Where are you on the Stanford Sleepiness Scale right now?