Background: Aging is characterized by substantial changes in sleep architecture that negatively impact physical fitness, quality of life, mood or cognitive functioning. Older adults often fail to reach the recommended amount of physical activity to prevent the age-related decline sleep function, partly because of geographical barriers. Home-based interventions could overcome these barriers preventing older adults from being active, and administration through videoconference may be an optimal solution. Increasing the availability of synchronisers such as physical activity, light exposure or vestibular stimulation is a good non-pharmacological strategy for circadian rhythms entrainment and could strengthen the sleep-wake cycle and thus improve sleep in the ageing subject. The aims of this study are (1) to evaluate the effects of a remote physical exercise training and a remote physical exercise training combined with bright light exposure, and (2) to study the specific contribution of galvanic vestibular stimulation on sleep in healthy older adults with sleep complaint.

Methods: One hundred healthy older adults (60-70 years old) with sleep complaint will be randomized to a physical exercise training group (n=25), a physical exercise training combined with bright light exposure group (n=25), a galvanic vestibular stimulation group (n=25) or a control group (i.e. health education) (n=25). While physical exercise training and health education will be supervised by videoconference at home, bright light exposure (from the physical exercise training combined with bright light exposure group) and vestibular stimulation will be self-administered at home. Pre- and post- tests will be performed to assess: sleep (polysomnography, subjective questionnaires), circadian rhythms (actigraphy, temperature), physical fitness (VO2peak, muscular function, postural control and functional mobility), cognition (executive function, long-term memory), quality of life and mood (anxiety and depression).

Discussion: The results should support the development of recommendations and non-pharmaceutical preventive strategies to maintain or even improve sleep quality in older adults and, consequently, to improve physical fitness, cognition, quality of life and mood throughout aging.

Trial registration: ID: NCT05030389. Registered on September – retrospectively registered.

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Journal: [Preprint]

Keywords: Aging, bright light exposure, Circadian rhythm, Cognition, galvanic vestibular stimulation, home-based intervention, physical exercise, polysomnography, randomised controlled trial, Sleep, videoconferencing,

Applications: Sleep,

CamNtech Reference: M23019

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