Meet Dr David Cunnington, Sleep Specialist, Melbourne

Dr David Cunnington is a specialist sleep physician delivering a quality healthcare to clients with complex sleep problems and promoting sleep health through education, research and advocacy.

He is co-director of Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre, where he practices, seeing people to diagnose and treatment a range of sleep disorders.

David undertook training in sleep medicine both in Australia and in Boston at Harvard Medical School as part of completing his specialist medical training as a specialist sleep physician.  In addition to training in sleep medicine, David has international qualifications in behavioural sleep medicine being a Diplomat Behavioral Sleep Medicine (US Board of Behavioral Sleep Medicine), which means he is expert in using non-drug treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy to manage sleep problems, David is also a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT, Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists) and as such has recognised credentials in sleep measurement using a range of techniques.

A recognised specialist in sleep disorders

David has a passion for all things sleep, and with his breadth of experience and training, is devoted to helping to develop the field of sleep medicine as well as educating health care professionals and the public about sleep. David is actively involved in training the next generation of sleep physicians, with a Fellow working with him in his practice and being a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physician’s Specialty Training Committee in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine overseeing training of respiratory and sleep specialists in Australia and New Zealand. 

David regularly appears in print, radio, TV and online media as an expert commentator on sleep, and is a regular national and international keynote speaker.

David has completed a range of research projects in conditions such as insomnia, sleep apnoea, restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy, both independently and in collaboration with academic and industry partners, and has written numerous journal articles, editorials and book chapters.

A leader and innovator in sleep

David is always looking for new and better ways to improve the sleep of people with sleep disorders, sleep problems, and people who feel like they are not sleeping well. To support this mission he co-founded the website SleepHub, which provides information on sleep, and produces the monthly podcast Sleep Talk.

David is also active on social media providing information and commentary on sleep. You can follow him on social media via these links.

Away from work

David is married to Kris and they have teenage twins, Ella and Will. Will was born with a life-threatening rare genetic mutation, SCN2A, which causes seizures, autism and intellectual disability. Despite being very unwell at times in his life, and being sent home for palliative care at the age of 6 months, Will is pursuing his passion of working with highland cattle. A highlight was winning Supreme Highland Exhibit showing a heifer at the Royal Canberra Show in 2020, and Will’s story being featured in The Land. Kris and David have co-founded SCN2A Australia, produce a podcast on genetic epilepsy (SCN2A Insights) and organise an annual scientific conference on genetic epilepsy with their co-founders of Genetic Epilepsy Team Australia