In this research, the roles of gravity waves and planetary waves in the change to middle atmospheric residual circulation during a sudden stratospheric warming period are differentiated and depicted separately by adopting the downward control principle. Our analysis shows clear anomalous poleward residual circulation patterns from the equator to high latitudes in the lower winter stratosphere. At the same time, upward mean flows are identified at high latitudes of the winter upper stratosphere and mesosphere, which turn equatorward in the mesosphere and reach as far as the tropical region, and consequently the extratropical region in the summer hemisphere. The downward control principle shows that anomalous mesospheric residual circulation patterns, including interhemispheric coupling, are solely caused by the change in gravity wave forcing resulting from the reversal of the winter stratospheric zonal wind. Nevertheless, both planetary waves and gravity waves are important to variations in the winter stratospheric circulation, but with opposite effects.