Interesting. Please can you expand on what you mean about diet and 'parasympathetic side'? That's not something i've ever heard of.
Well simplisticly your sympathetic side is the "fight and flight" side, i.e. the side of your autonomic nervous sytstem that helps you cope with short term stressful events. However, if the stressful events don't go away, this side of your ANS remains engaged. You end up wired and tired.
You therefore need to try and enagage the other side of your ANS, the parasympathetic side, which is more concerned with digestion, healing etc.
Easier said than done when you are in a period of elevated stress. But there are deep breathing techniques/meditation that can help.
You can also use food to support your parasympathetic side, but you would need to know your metabolic type to do this effectively. In my case I benefit from more protein and fat than carbs. This effectively slows down my oxidatisation of food and stabilises my blood sugar levels. I then feel calmer and more able to deal with stuff.
I can't help but think if i could just get some bloody sleep it might be easier though.
Yes it's chicken and egg. If you could get more sleep, then youd be better placed to deal with stuff. But its that stuff that's causing you to wake up.
You can understand why people turn to sleeping pills, at least in the short term, as if you can get some rest then it is easier to deal with stuff.
Sounds like you have a number of external stressors in your life at present. If you can start to off load some then it will get easier. It's like loads on a boat. One or two are manageable, but once they start to add up, the boat is overloaded and topples. If you can start to reduce them, then your sleep will improve and you'll be better placed to deal with the others. As some are external and out of your control i.e. ill relatives, you might need to be a bit selffish until you have sorted yourself out.