Sleep experts say we should get at least 7 hours of slumber each night. A single night of poor sleep can leave you feeling cranky and unmotivated. You may be too tired to work efficiently, to exercise, or to eat healthfully.

Over time, continued sleep deprivation raises the risk for a number of chronic health problems, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Insufficient sleep can also leave you more vulnerable to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. There’s even some evidence that insufficient sleep makes your more prone to the common cold if you’re exposed to the cold virus, says a Harvard Health report.

How to combat insufficient sleep? Exercise, cutting out caffeine, avoiding big meals close to bedtime, ensuring a pleasant and relaxing sleep environment (the room should not be too hot, too cold or too bright), not napping too much during the day, and not bringing problems to bed, are some of the ways to get your best rest.

Also important is adequate exposure to natural light. This is particularly important for older people who may not venture outside as frequently as children and adults. Light exposure helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.