While we all need our sleep, some of us are prone to falling into a deeper slumber than others. Alicia Johnson of Lindon, Utah, can certainly attest to that, following an eventful trip to a Walmart store in May 2017. Rather than join her mom shopping, Alicia’s 13-year-old daughter Savannah decided to stay in the car and eventually nodded off. However, when Alicia returned to the vehicle, none of her considerable efforts could wake Savannah up.
Although grocery shopping with children can often be challenging for parents, visiting a store with teenagers is a different story. As young adults, they’re often afforded more trust by their folks when visiting places like Walmart. However, while some teens might wander off on their own down the aisles, Savannah Johnson chose to do something else entirely.
On May 15, 2017, the teenager joined her mother Alicia on a trip to Walmart in Lindon, Utah. While her mom went into the store, though, Savannah decided to remain in the family car and listen to some music. Unconcerned, Alicia headed to the store alone, leaving the car keys with her daughter. However, that was a decision she came to regret 20 minutes later.
Alicia returned to the car 20 minutes later to find Savannah fast asleep in the passenger seat. What’s more, the car’s doors were locked. Unable to open them without her keys, the mother tried to wake her daughter by hammering on the window and shouting her name. Despite those considerable efforts, though, the teenager didn’t stir, prompting Alicia to pull out her cell.
The concerned mom started recording a video of the situation, while continuing her attempts to rouse her daughter. On the footage, a fellow shopper in the parking lot can be seen trying to help by sounding their car horn. However, despite these efforts, time pressed on and the state of affairs didn’t change.
“We even were jumping on the back of my car, trying to make it rock, and nothing worked,” Alicia recalled to NBC-affiliate KSL in May 2017. “I was concerned at first. I just kept watching and could tell she was fine.” However, while Savannah appeared to be okay, her mother was forced to make a drastic decision.
Around 30 minutes after she’d initially returned to her car, Alicia decided enough was enough and called the police. Not long after, several officers from the Lindon Police Department arrived at the parking lot. “[Savannah] didn’t want to come into the store with me, so she wanted me to leave the keys in the car so she can listen to music,” Alicia later explained.
With smartphones still recording the dramatic incident, one police officer decides breaking in to the car is the way to go. Consequently, he works a tool into the gap on the driver’s side door in an attempt to unlock it. And, after a few short moments, he succeeds, much to Alicia’s relief. “Oh, you did that so fast,” she tells the officer, to which he replies, “Oh, a bit of practice!”
At the cop’s behest, Alicia clambers into her car to check on Savannah, who subsequently wakes up. “Hey Savvy, look around,” Alicia says, “we had to call the police to open up the car!” Clearly still drowsy, the teenager takes a few moments to register what’s going on. “Wait, what happened?” she mumbles, oblivious to the drama around her.
As her mom explains what’s been going on, Savannah thanks the officer who freed her. “You’re welcome,” he replies. “Glad you got a good nap!” The video then ends with a tongue-in-cheek message praising those who responded to Alicia’s call. “Special thanks to the Lindon Police Department,” it reads. “They serve while you sleep. Literally.”
Two days after the incident, Savannah’s dad Tim posted the video on Facebook with the caption “It takes an act of Deity – or the Lindon Police Department – to wake up my daughters.” However, the response to the footage was anything but sleepy. The video has since earned more than 61,000 views and 120 shares. What’s more, it was also picked up by Inside Edition.
And the news outlet’s report on the story, titled “Teen Falls Asleep In Mom’s Car And No One Can Wake Her Up,” became a big hit when it was uploaded to YouTube on May 19, 2017. In fact, the footage has been viewed more than four million times to date. Savannah unwittingly became a viral hit, then, but her comments after the incident regarding her sleeping patterns were somewhat intriguing.
“I felt like I hadn’t even fallen asleep,” Savannah recalled to KSL in May 2017. “I’m a pretty light sleeper. I can wake up to, like, anything.” The teenager’s take on her sleeping habits is an interesting one. In actual fact, our sleep cycles can be broken down into four distinct stages, with each stage vital in helping our bodies recharge for when we eventually wake up.
The first stage we encounter is light sleep, during which time we can easily jolt ourselves awake. The second stage sees our eyes stop moving as our brain activity slows right down. The third stage is deep sleep, which is pretty self-explanatory, but the fourth – known as REM sleep – results in brain waves mimicking activity from our waking states. This is the stage where our most intense dreams take place.
So, while Savannah might be a light sleeper, she, like everyone else, goes through periods of deep sleep each night. During these times, growth hormones are released into our bodies, reinvigorating our muscles and reviving our immune systems. As the teenager told KSL, she had been very busy prior to her trip to Walmart and was feeling tired.
“I was just thinking, like, ‘What happened?,’” Savannah told Inside Edition in May 2017 of her immediate reaction after waking up in her mother’s car. “Did somebody break in or did I pass out? Like, what happened?”
Meanwhile, reaction to the video has been overwhelmingly positive on social media, with one comment in particular standing out. “Captured the heart of the nation with your family’s nap time,” Chris Johnson wrote on Facebook. “Now that’s something every good American can aspire to. Thank you for showing us the way.”
As for Alicia, she was taken aback by what happened in the parking lot that day, despite noting that her daughter usually enjoys her sleep. With that in mind, it’s likely the pair’s trips to the store will never be the same again, as the mother looks to avoid a repeat of the Walmart incident.
“I don’t think I’ll ever have her wait in the car again while I’m in the store shopping,” Alicia told KSL in May 2017. “It did scare me, but I knew she was safe and I’m glad she’s okay.”
Deep sleep is integral to the human body but usually only happens when we go to bed at night. Alicia Johnson, though, caught a real glimpse of it when trying to wake her daughter in a Walmart parking lot. Now, thanks to social media, Savannah’s sleeping habits have made her a viral sensation.