To dream of paralysis indicates an unwillingness to make certain commitments to society and yourself. A lack of confidence in your own potential leads to you stop acting and feel progressively paralyzed. Because of this state of mind, in your dreams you appear unable to move and, thus, decide for yourself. If you dream that it is others who are paralyzed, they can represent those aspects of yourself that you do not externalize. Similarly, if you dream of a paralyzed animal, it can refer to your instincts and inhibited sexual feelings. There is a belief that claims that nightmares are huge spirits that sit on top of us while we sleep. Thus the feeling of paralysis is explained. In olden days, in Europe, the solution for nightmares was to sleep with a knife beside the bed because the spirits feared iron and steel.