The National Conference on Adolescent Sleep, Health and School Start Times is meeting in Washington, D.C. this week, reports the Christian media site CBN News. 

Their goal: Encourage school districts to start the class day no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for middle and high school students in order to accommodate their changing body clocks and improve their chances for quality sleep.

“This is an opportunity to network, share ideas, to have a dialog about what’s going on in our communities,” said Judith Owens, director of Sleep Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

The RAND Corporation, Yale School of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Start School Later Inc. are sponsoring the conference.

Phyllis Payne, a spokeswoman for Start Schools Later, told CBN News that hundreds of districts have delayed their start times in recent years but that the majority still start before 8:30 a.m.

Payne says logistical challenges remain the biggest obstacle.