Clock change to winter time 2021 Ukraine: When clock is changed and why. Photo: unsplash / Jaelynn Castillo
In the last week of October, namely on the night of October 30 to October 31, 2021, Ukraine switches to winter time. Ukrainians will set back the clock one hour. When Ukraine will change the clock, why is it needed, when the norm will be abolished in our country, what are its shortcomings, and how the body can cope with the changes—in the article of .
When Ukraine changes the clock in the fall of 2021 and why
Traditionally, Ukraine changes the clock twice a year—in the spring (on the last Sunday of March), when the clocks are set forward one hour at 03:00, and in the fall (on the last Sunday in October), when the clocks are set back one hour at 04:00. Accordingly, this week Ukrainians need to set them from October 30 to 31 at 04:00.
Ukraine began changing clocks in 1981, like other countries of the USSR and other states in the world. This was done to save energy and in order to extend the daylight hours. In 1996, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a decree that regulates the entire procedure currently in force.
Has Ukraine canceled the clock change?
The country has repeatedly talked about changing the time, and in 2011 the change to winter time was already already canceled, but the initiative was quickly abandoned. At the end of 2020, the MPs submitted a new bill to the Verkhovna Rada. According to document No. 4201, the country should have canceled the change to daylight saving time, but so far this has not happened. The thing is that the Parliament voted for it only in the first reading, while in the second the MPs sent the document for revision.
However, one should not think that the cancellation of the clock change in Ukraine will not happen. Recently, the new Head of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk, who was the initiator of the bill, stated that at the moment there is no point in voting on the bill, since we use summer time, and the document assumes the retention of winter time (UTC+2).
"I think that after Ukraine switches to winter time on October 30, this discussion should be raised again, but it should be raised together with the decisions of the European Union that also spoke in favor of abandoning these issues. But the most important thing is that it should be raised, taking into account the main factor that contradicts this: these are the biological rhythms and health of the citizens of Ukraine."
Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada
It is also important that Ukraine should synchronize time with Europe, since the timetable for transport and various logistic issues depends on this.
What countries change clock
Along with Ukraine, about a hundred countries in the world change the clock, including:
- Australia (not all over the territory);
- United Kingdom;
- Canada (not all over the territory);
- New Zealand;
- USA (not all over the territory);
- Estonia and others.
Drawbacks of clock change: Does it save energy and how does it affect health
Many countries are now discussing the expediency of changing the clock. For example, in 2019, the European Parliament decided that from 2021 the clocks will not be changed and countries can decide for themselves whether to do this. On this occasion, the public was polled—over 80% of respondents supported the idea.
Opponents of the clock change are increasingly talking about the bad influence of the norm and questioning energy saving. According to research, energy savings in general are 1-3%, and sometimes even less. So, for example, in 2017 in the Czech Republic, a meta-analysis of studies devoted to the switch to daylight saving time was made, and it turned out that that saved only 0.34% of electricity.
"The life realities have changed significantly and there is no more talk about any savings. In the conclusions of the European Parliament, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, it is noted that there is not a single economic justification for the clock change. There are no studies that would prove energy saving," Stefanchuk stated earlier.
When it comes to impact on health, scientists have not come to a consensus as to how the clock change affects health. However, one thing is clear for sure—the body is under stress. The most minimal consequences, however, may be a disturbance of the "biological clock" rhythm, that can take a person from several days to weeks to recover.
However, more serious consequences can be expected. For example, according to the BBC, in countries that change clocks, the number of strokes and calls to the ambulance station increases at the time of the change. According to the data of an international group of researchers (data on more than 150 million people from the USA and Sweden were analyzed), there are four groups of diseases that depend on the clock change:
- cardiovascular diseases;
- mental disorders;
- immune system diseases.
According to the study, clock change causes a spike in disease statistics of up to 10% for some of the listed diseases.
How to prepare for the time change
Despite the fact that the damage to health during the switch to winter time is less than during the switch to summer time, in order to help the body cope with the clock change and minimize stress, doctors advise adhering to these general recommendations:
- a few days before the clock change, start going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier than usual;
- rational nutrition—it is necessary to give up alcohol, eat more healthy foods and drink more water;
- do not use gadgets at least an hour before bedtime;
- temporarily avoid physical activity so as not to overtire and so on.