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Stressed HSC students are so wired on their prescription drugs that they are resorting to sleeping tablets and taking an artificial sleep hormone to get themselves to bed, a leading expert has warned.

Chris Seton, a paediatric and adolescent sleep physician at the Woolcock Institute and Westmead Children’s Hospital, also warned the US experience of using prescription drugs before exams such as Ritalin and Modafinal was trickling down to Australian classrooms.

Dr Seton said this time of year was a peak for students suffering sleeping problems, many of whom take prescription drugs.

“The kids I see in year 12 at this time are in crisis,” said  Dr Seton.

“You see it through their sleep deprivation, it is the spring time peak. I hate the word epidemic, but I don’t know what a better word is.”

– Eryk Bagshaw

Read more: Sleepless in HSC: Experts highlights a stress crisis