Romania moves to daylight saving time this night: 3.00 o’clock becomes 4.00 – HOW affects us, what employees resort to at work


Romania makes twice a year the time change, although the European Parliament voted in 2019 to end the practice of adjusting clocks by one hour, in spring and autumn, starting this year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a decision on the distime of daylight saving time has been postponed.

Currently, the switch to daylight saving time is made on the last Sunday in March, and on the last Sunday in October. However, winter time is considered standard time.

The switch to daylight saving time 2021 takes place one week after the spring equinox on March 20, 2021, when the day became equal to the night. From this point on, the day began to “grow” and the night “decreased” until the summer solstice on 21 June.

The introduction of daylight saving time was aimed at increasing the number of hours in which people benefit from the natural light of the Sun and was extremely advantageous for those who once worked in agriculture.

The daylight saving time system – winter time was adopted by European countries in the last century to save energy, especially during the war or the crises in the oil market that occurred in the 1970s.

Decision on time change, delayed and coronavirus pandemic

This year, 2021, would have dropped the change of daylight saving time and winter time in the European Union. Thus, States wishing to maintain daylight saving time at all times would have made a final change to this effect on this Sunday of 28 March 2021, and those wishing to maintain the winter time should have decided on the last Sunday in October 2021. But the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic occurred. The European Commission has proposed as early as 2018 to abandon the seasonal time change in Europe, giving Member States the freedom to decide, once and for all, whether they want to apply daylight saving time or winter time permanently. Member States’ decisions were expected by April 2020, followed by a joint decision of the Community bloc.

What decision has Romania made – give up the time change or not

Romania, a legislative proposal has been drawn up to give up daylight saving time and keep only winter time. The legislative initiative to opt out of daylight saving time and stay at winter standard time did not enjoy the votes of lawmakers in the last legislature.

The draft for the repeal of Government Ordinance No. 20/1997 on the establishment of summer and official daylight saving time in Romania (L281/2018) was rejected by the Senate on 29 May 2018. At the time, the Romanian Government announced that it did not support the time change. The current government announced the same, and the draft was sent to the committees in February this year, and a decision at European level is also expected. For decision-making in this case is the Chamber of Deputies.

How changing the time affects us – what doctors recommend

An hour does not seem very much, but even a small change in the time zone can have significant effects on the body. Studies demonstrate various physical and mental effects associated with time change. Most people suffer more during the switch to daylight saving time than to winter. In the spring the change involves losing an hour of sleep each night until the body adjusts to the new schedule.

The increase in heart attacks, strokes, an increase in workplace accidents, road accidents, suicides and more were reported in the days following the time change.

Sleep, biological rhythm, metabolism. Although the impact of changing a single hour does not seem important, according to studies, changing the time can have a similar effect to changing the time zone when traveling. Sleep, metabolism, stress, biological rhythms are some of the influenced aspects, and scientific data show that recovery can take as long as three weeks.

People who are deprived of sleep also experience weight gain and have a higher risk of developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Sleep deprivation can alter processes in the body such as the inflammatory response that can contribute to a heart attack.

Employees, on the first day after the change to daylight saving time. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that on the first Monday after switching to daylight saving time we are less productive at work. Cyberloafing is the term that describes the use of the Internet for personal purposes, while employees claim to be working. After the time change, the most searched words on Google are “Youtube”, “video”, “music”, “ESPN”. The data shows that private sleep employees during that period did not have a good return at work, according to the Guardian Report.

Headaches after switching to daylight saving time. Some people accuse the fall and spring, around the time change or around the solstice, of an increase in the frequency of headache. In particular cluster headache, a rare and extremely painful condition, occurs especially in the context of these seasonal changes.

Teenagers – vulnerable to switching to daylight saving time. Teenagers lose significant sleep time as they switch to daylight saving time, according to a 2015 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Drowsiness during the day, delay of reaction time, lack of attention are worrying aspects found among adolescents not only in terms of education, but also safety at the wheel. Several studies have shown an increase in the incidence of fatal road accidents in the days following the switch to daylight saving time.

After the change in the March time, the risks to women who have had abortions and want to undergo in vitro fertilization are significant, according to a study published in Chronobiology International, writes the Guardian Report. Abortion rates were much higher for women who seised embryo transfer within 21 days of the time change compared to women who underwent the procedure for the rest of the year. However, a link between abortion rates and the change in autumn time or other times of the year could not be demonstrated

Myocardial. According to studies, it has been observed that heart attack is more common after switching to daylight saving time. The incidence of heart attacks is up 25 percent on the Monday following the switch to daylight saving time, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Open Heart, according to the Guardian Report. The total number of heart attacks over the course of a week did not change, only the frequency was higher at the beginning of the week.

The exact cause is unknown, but there are several theories. One explanation may be that stress associated with work at the beginning of the week in combination with lost sleep time may have greater effects on people who are already vulnerable to cardiovascular disease.

There are some diurnal variations for several cardiovascular functions. In the morning blood pressure, heart rate, tone of the coronary vessels, clotting have higher values.  This causes a mismatch between oxygen supply and demand, which makes the heart more vulnerable in the morning hours. That’s when most heart attacks happen and arrhythmias get worse.

It’s not just heart attacks that can be influenced by hourly changes. And stroke rates are 8% higher, on average, in the two days following the time change – both summer and winter, compared to the two weeks before and after.