The Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) is used to measure how alert you are during the day. It shows if you are able to stay awake for a defined period of time. This is an indicator of how well you can function and remain alert in quiet times of inactivity.
The test is based on the idea that your ability to stay awake may be more important to know in some cases than how fast you fall asleep. This is the case when the MWT is used to see how well a person with a sleep disorder can stay awake after starting treatment. It is also used to help judge whether a patient is too tired to drive or perform daily tasks.
The MWT is used to see if someone with a sleep disorder is responding well to treatment. Results of multiple tests may be compared over a certain time period. This can show if treatment is helping a patient overcome sleepiness.
This is critical when the person’s job involves public transportation or safety. The results of the test will be only one factor used to assess the potential risk of a work-related accident.