You might have heard the term “chakra” thrown around in a meditation class or a reiki session. Or maybe someone you know swears they’ve had their chakras misaligned for years until they finally fixed their anxiety, depression, or exhaustion.
But unless you’ve really delved into what chakras are and how they relate to your day-to-day life, this concept might seem a little woo-woo to you—and that’s completely understandable.
“Knowledge of your chakras is essential because anything that is an issue in the physical body has its roots in the energetic, emotional, and spiritual level,” says Valerie Oula, director of vibrational energy healing at THE WELL. “So, if you have difficulty sleeping, energy is not properly balanced and flowing through the chakras. Ideally, our chakras are open, spinning, and balanced, and all the chakras work together as a holistic system.”
In that case, if you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep but have tried basically every treatment possible (yes, even the weird and wacky ones) to no avail, then it might be worth it to see if your chakras are blocked.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to unblock your chakras and sleep better.
What are chakras?
The word “chakra” is derived from the ancient Indian language Sanskrit and means disc or wheel. It refers to the seven energy centers in your body.
“In the Vedic tradition, these energy centers correspond to specific principal nerve bundles and organ areas on the physical body—and the nadis, which are energy pathways, feed in and out of the chakras,” explains Oula. “Chakras are energy converters: They take in and emit energy. Whether our chakras are flowing and open or stagnant and closed, that is how we show up in the world. Chakras influence our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.”
For you to function at your best, your chakras need to stay open. If they get blocked, then you may experience physical or emotional symptoms related to that particular chakra (and area) in the body.
“Chakras are energy converters: They take in and emit energy. Whether our chakras are flowing and open or stagnant and closed, that is how we show up in the world. Chakras influence our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.”
Valerie Oula, director of vibrational energy healing at THE WELL
What are the seven chakras?
Overall, there are seven main chakras, each corresponding to a specific energy center. Below is a list and explanation of each.
Located at the base of your spine, your root chakra is represented by the color red and stands for your grounding. “Your root chakra is responsible for your sense of self and stability,” explains Kiki Matoba, an energy healer and reiki master based in Los Angeles. “When it’s in alignment, you will feel grounded and secure, and it helps give you the strength to withstand challenges.”
Your sacral chakra is located right below the belly button—aka above your public bone. It’s represented by the color orange and is the chakra responsible for your sexual and creative energy. “When it’s in balance, you will feel creative and desired,” says Matoba. “You’ll feel like things are in flow, especially in the creative and romantic spaces of your life.”
Solar plexus chakra
Your solar plexus chakra is located in the upper abdomen (your stomach area, essentially) and is represented by the color yellow. “This is your chakra of personal power,” explains Matoba. “It’s related primarily to your feelings of self-worth and confidence.”
Your heart chakra is located not exactly on your heart as its name suggests. However, it’s located close to it, just above the heart at the center of your chest. “This area is often referred to as your heart center in yoga or meditation classes,” says Matoba. Represented by the color green, it’s no surprise this chakra is related to your ability to love others and also receive that same love in return.
Your throat chakra is in your throat and is represented by the color blue. “It is related to communication,” says Matoba. When your throat chakra is open, you feel free and safe enough to communicate your thoughts and feelings with confidence.
Third eye chakra
Located between the eyebrows at the middle of the forehead, the third eye chakra is represented by the color indigo and is meant to connect you with your intuition. “When the third eye is open, you experience flows and nudges in your intuition that you’re very easily able to follow, and you are able to see the big picture in everything you do,” says Matoba.
Located at the very top of your head and represented by the color violet, your crown chakra is linked to every other chakra as well as your nervous system and brain. It’s the chakra of enlightenment, and one would argue it’s the most important chakra of them all. “This chakra represents your spiritual connection, and also your life’s purpose,” says Matoba. “When in alignment, this chakra allows you to feel bliss—all your chakras are also in alignment when this one is.”
Chakras and sleep: What’s the connection?
According to Matoba, there are two main chakras you should look at when you’re having trouble sleeping: the third eye and the root.
“The pineal gland is where melatonin is secreted, and that is the hormone that regulates our circadian rhythm and sleep,” says Matoba. “The chakra that corresponds with the pineal gland is the third eye. Therefore, we can postulate that the third eye chakra would influence our sleep.”
After all, we’ve all experienced difficulty sleeping when we have too many thoughts running through our mind—full of worries, information we’ve seen and read, and the conversations we’ve had with people in the past, she adds.
The third eye is considered the center of our imagination and intuition, which is most accessible when our mind isn’t full of extraneous thoughts. This lack of inner peace of the mind can create blocks in the third eye as well as the crown, which can lead to difficulty falling asleep.
On the flip side, the chakra that needs to be looked at if you’re sleeping too much is the root chakra, says Matoba. “The root is connected to our physical and material reality as well as the adrenal glands,” she explains. “Adrenal fatigue is when someone is chronically stressed and the body thinks it’s in danger. So, it constantly releases cortisol.”
But our body can only produce so much cortisol at a time and will eventually get drained. This leaves us feeling tired all the time, no matter how much we sleep.
How to unblock your chakras for better sleep
While there’s no tried and true method—as different things work for everyone—there are a few suggested ways the experts suggest you unblock your root and third eye chakras when you’re looking to sleep better.
“Some ways to open your chakras are yoga, meditation, energy healing, aromatherapy, visualization, nutrition, and working with crystals,” says Oula. “Depending on the chakras, there are different ways to balance the energy.”
For the root specifically, yoga poses like tree pose and mountain pose can help stabilize you to the ground, allowing for the root chakra to open and perform its task of grounding you.
You could also do specific grounding meditations (YouTube or the Calm app has some great ones) and visualize the chakra getting cleared as you do so. Additionally, you can try activities that bring you closer to nature, such as gardening and hiking—or honestly, even lying down on the grass!
“Chakras are connected to our nervous system, and therefore regulating our nervous system will help unblock the chakras,” adds Matoba. “This means incorporating calming practices in our everyday lives, such as meditation or yoga. The vibrational frequency of the music and/or mantra can stimulate the chakra to harmonize and rebalance, opening up to allow life force energy to flow efficiently.”
Similarly therefore for the third eye, visualization meditation plays a huge role since it’s the chakra located between the brows. “While meditating, you can visualize the chakra being cleared and see with your inner eye the blue color getting brighter,” says Matoba. “Listening to music along with this meditation can help with timing and enhance the balancing of the chakra.”
Yoga poses associated with this chakra include upper body poses like eagle or forward fold and even savasana since you close your eyes and focus on yourself during that time. Placing essential oils and crystals on your third eye can also help open it by adding in relaxing benefits.
Which chakra is responsible for sleep?
The two chakras responsible for sleep are the third eye, located in the forehead area between the eyes, and the root chakra, which is located at the base of the spine.
What chakra is blocked when you’re tired?
If you have low energy all the time or feel fatigued, then that indicates your root chakra is blocked. This is because your root chakra is responsible for the balance of your adrenal glands—and when they’re overstimulated, your body produces so much cortisol (stress hormone) that it throws your body out of whack. This overproduction of cortisol eventually drains the body and causes you to burn out.
What are the physical symptoms of blocked chakras?
It depends on which chakra is blocked as each chakra corresponds to a different energy center in the body that serves a potent function.
Physical symptoms of a blocked root chakra include constipation and colon problems, while a blocked sacral chakra can be seen via problems with the associated organs, like urinary tract infections, lower back pain, and impotence.
A blocked solar plexus chakra, meanwhile, can be seen through digestive issues like ulcers, heartburn, eating disorders, and indigestion. Additionally, a blocked heart chakra can be observed by heart problems and asthma.
A blocked throat chakra is indicated by physical symptoms such as a sore throat or issues with the teeth and gums, while a blocked third eye chakra is seen through headaches, issues with sight or concentration, and hearing problems. Finally, a blocked crown chakra is seen by neurological disorders or an overly activated nervous system.
How do I start clearing my chakras?
You should first determine which chakra is blocked, to perform specific meditations and mantras to heal it. Different yoga poses and affirmations also correspond to the various chakras. Once you figure out which chakra is affected, you can perform the activities related to opening up that very chakra.
Next, learn how to sleep based on your Ayurvedic dosha.