Heath Ledger suffered from a chronic sleep disorder, a medical condition that sometimes worsened when he took on roles. “He had uncontrollable energy,” said Ledger’s former partner, Michelle Williams. Interview in April 2008. “He was buzzing. He was jumping out of bed. Ever since I’d known him, he’d had bouts of insomnia. He just had too much energy. His mind was spinning, spinning, spinning, always spinning.” And the stress of work often interrupted his ability to get enough sleep.
That was the case when he was filming “The Dark Knight” in 2007. “Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night,” he said. The New York Times that November. “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted and my mind was still working.” As a result, Ledger often had to resort to prescription drugs. But even with the help of the drugs, Ledger still struggled to fall asleep.
During those long nights, Ledger sometimes traded his New York apartment for Washington Square Park. “He would walk early in the morning, around 6:30 am or 7 because he, he said, he always had trouble sleeping,” said a retired municipal worker. People in 2008. “That’s why I used to go out so early in the morning.” In addition to taking a walk to cool down, Ledger also enjoyed joining the chess players who gather in the park. “He would say, ‘I’m so tired,'” the city worker noted. “And he looked at it.”
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