Sleep difficulties and other work-related health issues
In their New York Times interview, published on 4 November 2007, Ledger told Sarah Lyall that his recently-completed roles in I'm Not There (2007) and The Dark Knight (2008) had taken a toll on his ability to sleep: "Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. ... I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." At that time, he told Lyall that he had taken two Ambien pills, after taking just one had not sufficed, and those left him in "a stupor, only to wake up an hour later, his mind still racing."
Prior to his return to New York from his last film assignment, in London, in January 2008, while he was apparently suffering from some kind of respiratory illness, he reportedly complained to his co-star Christopher Plummer that he was continuing to have difficulty sleeping and taking pills to help with that problem: "Confirming earlier reports that Ledger hadn't been feeling well on set, Plummer says, 'we all caught colds because we were shooting outside on horrible, damp nights. But Heath's went on and I don't think he dealt with it immediately with the antibiotics.... [sic] I think what he did have was the walking pneumonia.' [...] On top of that, 'He was saying all the time, "dammit, I can't sleep"...[sic] and he was taking all these pills [to help him] [sic].' "
In talking with Interview magazine after his death, Ledger's former fiancée Michelle Williams "also confirmed reports the actor had experienced trouble sleeping. 'For as long as I'd known him, he had bouts with insomnia,' she said. 'He had too much energy. His mind was turning, turning turning always turning.' "
8 years ago