Camaraderie is key, as are a range of continuously absorbed stimulants (caffeine, nicotine, taurine, sugar, adrenaline, etc.). Hardship is sometimes easier to bear when mutually endured, and it proves true in the case of a sleep deprived work force. Swapping hallucination stories and relating the dizzying disorientation of a mind in constant flux between the waking and dream states is at the very least good for a laugh. And oh how we laugh, involuntarily more often than not or for reasons unclear to any of us. But it helps somehow.
The hearty men and women that I work with are heroes. Not in the literal (or even figurative) sense. But, like the laughter, thinking that way makes the load a tiny bit lighter. It removes what might otherwise be a back-breaking straw from our strained and freakishly deformed backs.
We sleep walk so that others don’t have to. We’re kind of stupid that way.