The present study validated the nine-point Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) and the new Accumulated Time with Sleepiness (ATS) scale against performance of laboratory tasks. The ATS scale was designed as a method for integrating subjective sleepiness over longer time periods. The subjects were asked if certain symptoms of sleepiness had occurred and, if so, for how long. Six subjects participated twice. Each time they were kept awake during the night (except for a short nap occurring during one of the nights in a counterbalanced order) and were tested at 2200, 0200, 0400 and 0600 hours. The tests included a 10-minute rest period, a 28-minute visual vigilance task and an 11-minute single reaction time task. KSS and visual analogue scale (VAS) ratings were given before each test, and ATS ratings were given after. Performance deteriorated clearly, and all three rating scales reflected increased sleepiness with time of night. Scores on the KSS and VAS showed high correlations with performance tasks (mean intraindividual correlations were between 0.49 and 0.71). Performance correlated even higher with the ATS ratings (r = 0.73-0.79). Intercorrelations between rating scales were also high (r = 0.65-0.86). It was concluded that there were strong relations between ratings of sleepiness and performance, that the ATS rating scale was at least as good as the other scales and that the ratings were affected by type of task.