I’m happy to report that everything is getting progressively better. Last night, I spent almost no time as a zombie, and I was able to space out my naps 2 hours apart. Since last midnight, I had 20 minute naps at 2am, 4am, 6am, 8am, 11am, and 2pm, and there was only a very small window in which I felt like crap. For the rest of the night I was mostly in between “ok, but a bit tired” and “good, but not perfect”. I currently have no problems falling asleep, and almost all of my naps are spent in REM (there are a small number of naps where I don’t remember any dreams).
For me it’s been absolutely essential to have someone else around doing the same thing. There have been several very difficult moments where it was hard not to fall asleep (for one or both of us), but we kept each other going successfully. We both had a minor oversleep of 20 extra minutes in our 2am nap, but otherwise we’ve had no other oversleeps during the experiment so far, and I think this has been a key to our success so far. As someone said on one of the polyphasic forums, 1 oversleep is worse than 10 extra naps when trying to adapt to a new schedule.
I’m becoming more productive throughout the day too, since more of my time is spent in a “good” state of mind that allows intense concentration. The first few days I mostly watched a lot of TV, but now I’m getting back on track with my project to learn Dutch. Right now I’ve got about 20 waking hours each day, so I’m hoping to be able to use them all more effectively. I’m tracking my work on my language projects, so I should be able to see some hard numbers soon.