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Put the clock forward: when and why Ukraine is switching to daylight saving time in 2021

When the clock is changed in Ukraine. Photo: Pixabay

When the clock is changed in Ukraine. Photo: Pixabay

On the night of Sunday, March 28, Ukraine will switch to daylight saving time: the clock must be put forward one hour. The Page has compiled information on why the clocks are turned ahead and back, how to prepare for this, and how it affects the economy.


Why the clocks are turned ahead and back

Seasonal turning clock ahead and back is needed for more rational use of daylight hours and energy savings for lighting or synchronization with other territories. The very idea originates from the American scientist, politician, publicist and diplomat Benjamin Franklin.

In Ukraine, the clock is put to daylight saving time on the last Sunday of March at 03:00, one hour ahead. For winter time—on the last Sunday in October, 04:00 an hour back. Turning the clock ahead and back occurs along with most countries. This is approved by the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 509 "On the procedure for time reckoning on the territory of Ukraine" dated May 13, 1996. In Ukraine, we have the time of the second time zone (Kyiv time)—UTC + 2 (in the summer—UTC + 3).


Has turning the clock ahead and back been canceled or not?

The Verkhovna Rada failed to vote on a draft law that would have canceled the clock turning in Ukraine on March 19, 2021. The draft law was sent for revision. However, some MPs hope that they will still have time to adopt it in the second reading and, in general, by March 28, 2021.

Earlier, in September 2011, Ukraine refused to turn the clock ahead and back—the Rada adopted a corresponding draft law. However, a month later, the decision was revised and turning the clock ahead and back was brought back. In January 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers recommended putting the clock to daylight saving time, so as "not to create inconveniences during the European Football Championship in Ukraine in the summer of 2012".


How turning the clock ahead and back affects the economy

According to NRC estimates, turning the clock ahead and back in Europe increases turnover in the leisure industry by 3%. And according to the author of the book on changing the clock Michael Downing, when Americans have an extra hour after work, when it's still light outside, they go shopping. And another research has shown that people with sleep deprivation are more likely to take risks.

"There is no significant economic benefit from such a change. There are advantages in using the daylight hours for rest," the National Academy of Sciences told Ukrinform earlier.

Economists believe that changing the clock does not affect the consumption of electricity, therefore, changing the clock becomes unnecessary.

After the annexation of Crimea, the Russian Federation established Moscow time in the temporarily occupied territories.

"Our task is to establish and consolidate a single Kyiv time throughout the territory of Ukraine, without exception," said Ruslan Stefanchuk, First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament.


How changing the clock affects people

Scientists argue among themselves about how changing the clocks affects the human body. Some think simply—in no way, while others trace the relation to a number of diseases.

In 2020, researchers found that there are four groups of health problems that are affected by changing the clock: cardiovascular and immune system diseases, mental disorders, and trauma.

At the same time, putting the clock forward and back disrupts the synchronization of biorhythms with natural lighting and the sleep schedule. After switching to daylight saving time, it sometimes takes about two weeks to restore sleep. According to scientists, during the first two days after switching to daylight saving time, the risk of stroke and heart attack increases.


How to prepare for switching to daylight saving time

To minimize the impact of changing the clocks, you need to prepare in advance for the changes, for example, start going to bed and wake up a little earlier.

What else to pay attention to:

  • Healthy food and sleep.

Trivial, but very effective. Nutrition with an optimal ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as healthy sleep will help the body "stay on track" while adapting to a new time.

Vitamins. It’s spring outside, and in addition to changing the clock, there’s a seasonal lack of vitamins. The body needs vitamins, possibly in a complex. But in order to choose the optimal complex, you need to consult a doctor.

  • Physical activity.

Any physical activity, whether it's walking after a working day or exercising, is good for the body. This keeps the body in good shape and helps relieve mental stress.