Difference between Deja vu and Dreams

Key difference: A notable difference between a feeling of Déjà vu and a Dream is that the former takes place while a person is in a conscious state of mind, whereas the latter mostly happens when a person is sleeping or in an unconscious state of mind.

The human mind has been an intriguing subject right from the times of yore. Many philosophers and psychologists have tried delving deep into the myriad mysteries of this tricky entity, but noone till date has been able to uncover the corresponding answers and truths that seem to be buried therein. Déjà vu and dreams are two such protagonists of the human brain, through which it never fails to mesmerize the people experiencing these phenomena, irrespective of whether they’re privy to mind studies or not.

Déjà vu is a French term for “already seen”, its English equivalent. It is a phenomenon of the human brain where a person feels that he/she has already experienced the events panning out around him/her. Everything that happens around a person experiencing déjà vu seems eerily familiar to him. It feels as if one is physically participating in the replay of his own past event, but the event around him actually takes place for the first time. It’s only this brain sensation of déjà vu that gives him a feeling of “already seen”. At times, this feeling is caused so strongly in a person that he/she might actually predict what’s going to happen in the near future. Déjà vu always occurs when a person is in a conscious state of mind, which is why he’s actually able to mindfully experience it and even recount it to his friends or relatives.

On the other hand, dreams are a series of images, ideas, sensations and emotions playing out successively in the mind of a person while he/she is sleeping. Dreams always take place when a person is in an unconscious state of mind. This fact makes for a very important point of difference between dreams and déjà vu. Though some would argue that there exists a phenomenon where a person can dream during the day, even while he’s not sleeping, which means that they’re referring to the practice of day dreaming.

Day dreaming is another interesting phenomenon of the brain in which the person unknowingly starts to dream about something. Day dreams, though occurring in a conscious mind can be said to be an unconscious phenomenon. This is so because when a person is day dreaming, he is in a state of being completely occupied by one’s own thought. This makes him unconscious of everything around him and his focus lies only on dreaming. Which is why, dreaming on the whole is said to be an unconscious activity.

However, déjà vu is a conscious activity of the brain, which is what makes it different from a dream.

Comparison between Déjà vu and Dreams:

 

Déjà vu

Dreams

Meaning

A phenomenon of the human brain where a person feels that he/she has already experienced the events panning out around him/her.

A series of images, ideas, sensations and emotions playing out successively in the mind of a person, while he/she is sleeping.

State of mind during occurrence

Conscious

Unconscious

Time of occurrence

Déjà vu has no specific time of occurrence, it can occur anytime

Dreams occur mostly during sleep, or when a person’s unconscious

Duration of occurrence

Déjà vu usually only lasts for few seconds

Dreams can last up to 20 minutes in REM sleep

Recount ability

Déjà vu can be recalled well and can be narrated duly to one’s peers or relatives

Dreams are very difficult to remember, let alone recounting them

Timeline of the occurrence

A person can recall the beginning, middle and the end, etc. of the event experienced during déjà vu.

Its fascinating and bewildering how one simply can’t tell the beginning of his dream, as he’s always in the middle of a dream.

Image Courtesy: lizhester.org, elitedaily.com

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