…And a general update; thanks everyone for the replies, and feel free to keep them coming — I'm going to just gather data, and people, for a few weeks I think, and then I'll start sending emails. (If that confuses you, see the previous post and contact me anyhow you like if you're interested.)
So since this will be a very challenging adaptation — I'll talk more about why later, I'm sure — I'm preparing the heck out of everything I can. And funnily enough, because I've been polyphasic so long and in so many different configurations and circumstances, it's almost intimidating to sort through all the stuff I've experienced and decide what to do now.
One thing I'm doing is getting a camp chair, so that I have somewhere to sit besides my bed (which is also my couch; it's an awesome futon fold-up thing and I adore it) and the two flat square wooden stools I have. The camp chair will also fold away and be useful in other places (like camping) as well, yay. But it will serve as my late-night working spot, and hopefully not give me RSI as bad as the stools, but be less sleep-friendly than the bed.
I also bought a video game — Skyrim – since I know that a new, interesting game is a great way to while away the night hours on the first few days. No, you can't do it in the throes of terrible sleep-dep, but the fact that it's there and waiting really helps you get out of bed, I find.
Today, it being a lovely Saturday and me having the charge of an energetic pre-teen, I found it difficult to nap — I did get one, face down on the dock in the sunshine, that was glorious — but I also kayaked and swam my guts out and didn't get a second one — and so as I sit here, still not quite bedtime, I've been yawning-tired for about an hour already, and done with the chores and stuff that were keeping me out of bed. But I knew I wanted to stay up, because if I sleep extra tonight I'll only find it easier to not nap tomorrow (and tomorrow is full of kungfu — three classes!); I know that I want to go to bed on time and wake up on time — in 4.5h — so that I want and prioritize my naps. (Remember, for me polyphasic sleep is a thing that I know works better for me than monophasic sleep; so if I'm off-schedule, it's the polyphasic one I'd rather go back to. It's my default and I like it that way.)
Anyway, I found myself resorting to a trick I know for warding off sleep-dep symptoms that I don't think I've ever written down before (but I'm sure I will again): The Acceptance Game. I actually learned this as a breath-holding trick, but it works against being tired, too. As you start to feel discomfort, and to cast about for how to fix it, stop and ask yourself, "Can I just let it be this way for a minute? Can I just…relax, and let this exist, just for right now?"
The Acceptance Game talks you into pausing, into waiting, into not taking that breath quite yet, into not giving in to sleep. It stops you from fighting against the difficult shit, and therefore conserves your energy for enduring it.
Anyway, I plan to write down more of these as I think of them, that is, unless Skyrim is that good.