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SUSS: Substance Use Sleep Scale

What is SUSS? 

The Substance Use Sleep Scale (SUSS) is the first sleep measure designed specifically for people experiencing problems with alcohol or other drugs. It comprises 23 questions and 2 domains:

1. “Mind and Body Sleep Problems” and 2. “Substance-Related Sleep Problems.”  

SUSS was developed with significant input from people who use substances. It can be used by them to monitor and reflect on their own sleep; by treatment providers to encourage and enable people who use substances to think about sleep and identify strategies for improving sleep; and by researchers and others as an outcome measure when designing and implementing sleep interventions for people who use substances. 

How to score SUSS 

Scoring of SUSS is simple. Each question scores ‘0’ (if the response in ‘no’) or ‘1’ (if the response is ‘yes’). This means it is possible to score between 0 and 23 (where lower scores denote better sleep and higher scores denote worse sleep). 

Accessing SUSS 

How to complete SUSS 

Watch this video to see how to complete SUSS. 


Copyright © 2018 King’s College London 

All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than the following: 

  • you may print or download to a local hard disk extracts for your personal and non-commercial use only 
  • you may copy the content to individual third parties for their personal use, but only if you acknowledge the source of the material 

Use within not-for-profit charities or health care settings does not require a licence. 

You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of King's College London as it will constitute an infringement of copyright. If you wish to obtain a commercial copyright licence for this measure, then please contact King’s College London’s IP& Licensing Team:


The development and validation of SUSS was undertaken with financial support from Action on Addiction and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at South London, Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and King’s College London. 


Neale, J. and Strang, J. (2015) ‘Blending qualitative and quantitative research methods to optimise patient reported outcome measures (PROMS)’, Editorial, Addiction 110, 1215-1216. 

Neale, J. and Strang, J. (2015) ‘Philosophical ruminations on measurement: methodological orientations of patient reported outcome measures (PROMS)’, Editorial, Journal of Mental Health 24, 123-125. 

Nettleton, S., Meadows, R. and Neale, J. (2017) ‘Disturbing sleep and sleepfulness during recovery from substance dependence in residential rehabilitation settings’, Sociology of Health and Illness 39, 784-798. 

Meadows, R., Nettleton, S. and Neale, J. (2017) ‘Sleep waves and recovery from drug and alcohol dependence: towards a rhythmanalysis of sleep in residential treatment’, Social Science and Medicine 184, 124-133. 

Neale, J., Bouteloup, A., Getty, M., Hogan, C., Lennon, P., Mc Cusker, M., and Strang, J. (2017) ‘Why we should conduct research in collaboration with people who use alcohol and other drugs’, Editorial, Addiction 112, 2084-2085. 

Neale, J., Meadows, R., Nettleton, S., Panebianco, D., Strang, J., Vitoratou, S. and Marsden, J. (accepted, in press) ‘Substance use, sleep and intervention design: insights from qualitative data’, Journal of Mental Health

Neale, J., Vitoratou, S., Lennon, P., Meadows, R., Nettleton, S., Panebianco, D., Strang, J. and Marsden, J. (2018) ‘Development and early validation of a patient reported outcome measure to assess sleep amongst people experiencing problems with alcohol or other drugs’, Sleep 41 (4). 


Project status: Ongoing


Contact us

Please let us know if you are using SUSS.

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