• Sleepiness;
  • Sleep;
  • Rating scale;
  • Performance testing


The Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS) is a self-rating scale which is used to quantify progressive steps in sleepiness. The present study investigated whether the SSS cross-validates with performance on mental tasks and whether the SSS demonstrates changes in sleepiness with sleep loss. Five college student Ss were given a brief test of memory and the Wilkinson Addition Test in 2 test sessions and The Wilkinson Vigilance Test in 2 other sessions spaced throughout a 16-hr day for 6 days. Ss made SSS ratings every 15 min during their waking activities. On night 4, Ss underwent all night sleep deprivation. On all other nights, Ss were allowed only 8 hrs in bed. Mean SSS ratings correlated r= .68 with performance on the Wilkinson Tests. Discrete SSS ratings correlated r= .47 with performance on the memory test. Moreover, mean baseline SSS ratings were found to be significantly lower than corresponding ratings of the deprivation period.