Quantifying Sleepiness – Diagnostic Scales

Last updated: April 19, 2019

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The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.

Sleepiness is one of the hardest things to measure. This is because it is a feeling and is subjective by nature. What others consider as drowsiness can be a feeling of extreme sleepiness to others. However, there are still situations when sleepiness is worth measuring.

Quantifying sleepiness depends on the person making the measurement and that person’s ability to properly gauge his feelings. It is harder to quantify sleep since it is not like a person’s blood pressure which has a device that can take accurate measurements.

There are several methods of quantifying sleepiness. Some of the most common ones include:

OSLER and MURT

Aside from the ones listed above, there are other means of quantifying sleepiness. One of these is through the use of the Oxford Sleep Resistance Test (OSLER). OSLER is a type of behavioral test. It measures an individual’s ability to remain wakeful. This test also assesses daytime vigilance. OSLER is not a test that one can administer to one’s self. This test uses multiple unprepared reaction time (MURT). It measures a patient’s reaction time to a series of visual or audible stimuli. The OSLER test can measure how fast or slow a patient reacts to stimuli. The sleepier a person is, the more errors the said person commits. OSLER and MURT are practical and reliable tools to measure an individual’s vigilance or alertness in the presence of a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.

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